LDK Solar announces non-payment of convertible notes

16. April 2013 | Global PV markets, Markets & Trends | By:  Vera von Kreutzbruck, Becky Beetz

China-based LDK-Solar announced that, due to a temporary cash-flow shortage, it was not able to make full payments to the holders of its 4.75% convertible senior notes due on April 15. A settlement is said to have been reached, however.

LDK Solar brand image

The aggregate principal amount owed is around US$24 million, plus interest.

The aggregate principal amount owed is around US$24 million, plus interest. However, LDK Solar says it has negotiated and reached settlement with two holders of such convertible notes in the aggregate principal amount of $16.5 million.

This was agreed shortly before the maturity date, through a partial payment in cash and effectively a loan facility to postpone the repayment of the remaining indebtedness.

LDK Solar has informed The Bank of New York Mellon, as trustee for the holders of the convertible notes, of such nonpayment. The remaining convertible notes are still open for settlement.

According to Bloomberg, LDK had total liabilities amounting to $4.45 billion at the end of 2011. The China-based photovoltaic manufacturer is due to release its Q4 2012 this week.

Just last month, Suntech Power Holdings Company Ltd defaulted on a $541 million bond. Wuxi Suntech was subsequently forced to file for bankruptcy shortly afterwards.

Troubling times

As reported in January, LDK sold 12% stake to British Virgin Islands-registered Fulai Investments Ltd, Hong Kong investment business, which paid US$31.1 million.

That sale of stock followed LDK’s disposal of its heavily loss-making LDK Anhui subsidiary to Shanghai Qianjiang Group for RMB25m (US$4 million) last January.

At that point, LDK Anhui had negative net assets of US$54 million and bank borrowings of US$485 million.

The latest share sale further muddies the waters in terms of who owns LDK Solar after the Heng Rui Xin Energy Company – an investment vehicle itself 40% owned by the Chinese state investment vehicle Asset Management Company – paid $21.7m for a 19.9% stake in LDK in October 2012.

Meanwhile, LDK Anhui’s sale still hasn’t been approved by the government.

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